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Published: Friday, 1/5/2001

Sylvania gets OK to annex 50 acres from township


Lucas County commissioners approved the annexation yesterday of slightly less than 50 acres from Sylvania Township to the city of Sylvania.

Commissioners held a hearing last month on the proposed annexation of the property at the northwest corner of Centennial and Sylvania-Metamora roads.

In part, the annexation is based on a sewer agreement with the city of Sylvania signed by property owners who state they will accept annexation into the city.

John Borell, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said the validity of the sewer agreement is the subject of a lawsuit pending in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Commissioners determined that the signatures seeking annexation were not obtained by “fraud, duress, misrepresentation, or undue influence” and approved the action. The township has 30 days to appeal.

Soon after the decision, township trustees had their regular meeting yesterday and went into executive session to discuss the issue.

Township attorneys took the matter under advisement, and no decision was made on the next step, Trustee Dock Treece said.

During the regular meeting, Mr. Treece spoke about the “bad policy” of commissioners approving annexation with the issue still in court.

Last month, a judge allowed the trustees' request to join residents as defendants fighting annexation sought by the city of Sylvania.

It amounts to challenging a 1973 sewer agreement between the city of Sylvania and the county. The city has required developers and property owners to sign annexation agreements prior to allowing them to tap into the county's sewer line and the township is challenging that practice.

During the meeting, Mr. Treece questioned what would happen if the properties were annexed, but the court ruling was in the township's favor.

“Those people are struck,” Mr. Treece said later. “We are trying to figure out how to put this thing on hold until this is resolved or until the court has ruled on it,” he said. “Once the court rules, we'll live by what they say.”

Trustee Chairman George Fanning was disappointed in the commissioners' ruling.

“But it's one thing we don't have control over,” he said. He said trustees are going to “look at costs and whether they can win,” before deciding whether to appeal, Mr. Fanning said.

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